Faith Riders places first in Clanton parade competition

Published 12:11 pm Monday, December 4, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Faith Riders motorcycle ministry of Mineral Springs Baptist Church upped its game this year and won first prize at the Clanton Christmas Parade on Dec. 1.

Each group member was dressed as an elf. The float itself featured Santa’s sleigh being pulled by a motorcycle.

The honor came with a $150 cash prize, which group leader Rodney Williams said will be used to help a local family in need this Christmas.

Williams said placing first “means the hard work was worth it.” He said Faith Riders main focus was “to bring people closer to Christ.”

Fierce Sports and Recreation came in second, for a cash prize of $100, with its Santa’s Workshop float covered in colored and white lights.

“I think it’s awesome,” Lisa Burdett of Fierce said.

Cyndel Williams of Fierce said she enjoyed watching the children enjoy the lights and the float.

Rustique Relics had a float this year, and came in third. The float featured an interior room being decorated for Christmas, and was designed by vendor Victor Boudreau.

“What I wanted to try to do was feature the different vendors,” Boudreau said. “A lot of them are not just antique dealers, but they are artisans, so I wanted to feature their work. Everything that is on here is from the shop.”

He said he was “ecstatic, very happy” to place third.

Third place won $50.

A number of other fun and colorful floats lined the streets as a part of the parade.

The Chilton-Clanton campus of Jefferson State Community College float featured characters from Peanuts.

Ashley Kitchens, associate dean, said the idea started with office manager Heather Smith.

“We tried to do something that was relatable to everyone,” Kitchens said.

Staff and student workers painted each character.

Jimmie Hardee, Robert Logan and Russell Do-it Center sponsored the float.

Kitchens said participating in the Christmas parade is always “a fun time for the employees.”

Gifts came early for child spectators as the United Way handed out stuffed animals. Yolanda Boggs said the stuffed animals are donated to the organization throughout the year.

“I love the faces of the children when you go and hand them a toy … and say ‘Merry Christmas’ their faces just light up,” Boggs said.

The organization gave out 200 stuffed animals during the parade.

Cub Scouts Pack 57 participated with a float featuring inflatable snowmen roasting marshmallows. Cub Master Kyle Sims said family members came together to help the Cub Scouts and leaders put the float together. Sims said he enjoys “seeing all the families along the parade route.”

The Walnut Creek United Methodist Church featured a birthday cake for Jesus created from tires painted white and stacked.

“Jesus is the reason for the season,” Ashley Calfee said. “He is why we celebrate Christmas.”

Calvary Baptist Church’s youth group depicted the First Christmas on its float.

The Rotary Club of Chilton County, which sponsors the parade, brought Santa to the festivities as the final float of the parade.